Zespri’s red kiwifruit offering will be shipped to predominantly Asian markets including Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong for the first time

Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit supply is expected to triple in volume this season with the marketer expecting to pass the milestone of 1m trays or 3,600 tonnes.

Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit is now available in most supermarkets and fruit and vegetables stores in New Zealand and will also be in markets throughout Asia Pacific including Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore and for the first time this season in Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Zespri chief executive officer Dan Mathieson said it was exciting to reach the Qmillion tray milestone for Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit,  which is in its third year of commercial production.

“Our Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit volume has tripled compared to last season so it’s fantastic to have more fruit available for our customers and consumers in New Zealand and across Asia Pacific, including a number of new markets this year. There’s strong demand for RubyRed which generates a really high level of excitement and uptake amongst customers and consumers, and particularly younger consumers who love the distinctive taste, colour and health benefits,” said Mathieson.

Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit was developed through Zespri’s kiwifruit breeding programme, in partnership with Plant & Food Research and has a smaller natural fruit size.

“We’re expecting strong growth across all our kiwifruit varieties this season, with 193m trays of kiwifruit to be shipped to markets around the world, with our Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit crop volume increasing with new orchards coming into production,” said Mathieson.

“As our newest kiwifruit variety, we continue to build our knowledge of Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit so we can meet the strong demand we’re seeing and this includes gathering consumer feedback to drive strong per tray returns in our markets and maximise the value we can return for our RubyRed growers.

“We’re really excited about our red variety which complements our Green and SunGold varieties. It’s also a variety which is helping bring new and younger consumers to the kiwifruit category and we believe increased production in the coming years will support its growth in high value markets.”

Strong marketing campaigns will support the sale of Zespri RubyRed kiwifruit across markets this year. This season’s campaigns will include in-store activations and sampling, as well as digital and social campaigns using influencers to highlight the distinctive flavour as well as the health benefits of Zespri RubyRed.